Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review & Giveaway: Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day

Strangled Eggs and Ham (Country Store Mystery, Book #6)
by Maddie Day
Release Date: June 25th 2019
2019 Kensington Publishing Corporation
Kindle Edition; 295 Pages
ISBN: 978-163015749
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

4 / 5 Stars

Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!

While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .

My Thoughts
Strangled Eggs and Ham is the sixth entry into the Country Story Mystery series, and although I had not yet read the earlier books in this series, I had no problem figuring out who was who as well as the relationships in the story; the author is not one who spends a lot of time speculating on past events, which is something I rather like as she also doesn't give away who-dun-its from previous books either, a bit of a pet peeve of mine.  This book was light but rather enjoyable, a quick read for those looking for something light and easy.

First of all, it is rather difficult to balance all the elements in a cozy mystery as they are so character driven, which means that often the mystery gets left behind or the characters.  This one manages to maintain a rather nice balance between the two without disparaging official figures either, and by that, I mean the investigating officers.  I tend to get turned off now by books that mock or downplay the importance of detectives and their role in solving crimes as well as ones where the main character seems to feel they should know everything about an investigation.  This one was full of quirky characters and I enjoyed them all.  I like how the author manages to give them all different personalities which really enhances the story and makes the dialogue and interactions between them rather fun.  

Robbie is one of those people who doesn't go out of her way to solve crimes and tries to stay out of people's business.  She just happens to run a restaurant where a lot of people come to eat and where she happens to overhear some interesting conversations.  She is smart and knows to report evidence when necessary.  When she does get into a jam, it's not because she broke into someone's house looking for evidence, but it just happened while out bike riding or doing her thing, something anyone could have done.   I really like her character and thought she was sensible and caring.  I just tended to identify with her spirit as someone who was simply looking to run her business, enjoy her friends, but have peace at the end of the day.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?  

The mystery in this book wasn't all that original as I've seen it come up in several cozy mysteries lately, but it was well done and certainly something that is a huge issue today nonetheless.  The tensions between the two sides are quite realistic and I could see how it could blow up quite easily. I definitely understood both sides and the reasons for why or why not and I'm not really sure if there is a solution that would have satisfied everyone.  I actually think the tensions could have become a lot more severe than this book but the author did a credible job outlining them in ways that were interesting and made you think about the side you may be on.   

Strangled Eggs and Ham was a fun read and I am definitely going to be looking for the previous books in this series as I am curious as to what happened before this entry.  And while I don't feel like the mystery was original or nail-biting, it was solid with a main character who was intelligent, intuitive, and used common sense. Learning more about Robbie's business, and the time it takes her to do things to prepare for the day was interesting, and that's one of the things I like about cozy mysteries.  Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for another series to read.  Plus, some great recipes at the end to try!! 


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